When introducing the new flagship smartphones of the Galaxy S24 family to the Chinese market, Samsung Electronics relied on cooperation with the local search giant Baidu, ensuring the integration of the Chinese partner’s specialized services on its devices. Experts believe that this step will not contribute to the popularization of Samsung smartphones in the Chinese market.
Let us remind you that in China, Samsung Galaxy S24 smartphones will be provided with support for the Ernie chatbot of the Chinese company Baidu and the search service of the same name, implemented with artificial intelligence functions. Many of the features offered in collaboration with Baidu duplicate the capabilities of the Galaxy S24 smartphones for a global market in which Samsung relies on a partnership with Google and its Gemini AI search service.
Samsung’s Chinese customers have already expressed concerns that the features implemented in cooperation with Baidu will not work as effectively as those offered by Google for the international version of the Galaxy S24 smartphones. Chinese buyers have the opportunity to compare both platforms when visiting Hong Kong, where the Galaxy S24 smartphones are available in both versions.
Baidu introduced its chatbot Ernie back in March last year, one of the first among the world giants to offer an alternative to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which was then gaining popularity. By September, a version of the Ernie 4.0 language model was presented, which was obviously inferior in its capabilities to GPT-4 even in the understanding of Baidu representatives. By now, Huawei and OPPO already offer their own large language models used by devices of the same brands, so competition in the Chinese smartphone market will only intensify from this point of view.
Analysts at Counterpoint Research believe that support for artificial intelligence systems alone will not help Samsung strengthen its position in the Chinese smartphone market. At the same time, cooperation with Baidu as such demonstrates the company’s desire to develop its business in China in the long term. In the local market, the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24+ smartphones cost more than their predecessors, while in the US they are offered at the same prices, and in Europe they turned out to be cheaper than the Galaxy S23 series models. The price difference may matter more to Chinese buyers than the availability of additional features. Over the past ten years, Samsung’s share of the Chinese smartphone market has fallen from 20 percent to less than 1 percent.